Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

ICC no longer affiliated with ICC Australia

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

This is to clarify that since 2014 International Children’s Care (ICC), with headquarters in Vancouver, Washington, which started in 1978, is no longer affiliated with the group in Australia doing business as International Children’s Care Australia (ICCA).

ICCA was started, funded and operated by ICC, but the ICC Board of Trustees voted in 2013 to cut ties with ICCA. This was after unsuccessful attempts to renew a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations due to differing operating philosophies and practices. ICC also informed ICCA that ICC no longer authorized the use of the ICC name or logo. International Children’s Care is a legally trademarked name in the USA, and we hope to avoid confusion by the Australia group changing their name and logo.

Las Palmas Receives Visitors

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

While in the Dominican Republic as members of a group participating in a church-building project, a party of friends, organized by Nancy Wilson (wife of Elder Ted Wilson, General Conference President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church), took time to visit our Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Jean Parchment, one of the groups members, wrote this first-hand account of the group’s visit to Las Palmas.

They toured the Las Palmas campus and spent time with the children and staff. We at ICC would like to thank our special visitors for taking the time to come and see our children’s village.

“My excitement grew as the bus turned into the gate of Las Palmas. We sensed that we were going to meet some very special and precious people.

“We were not disappointed. The director; Samilin Williams met us with warm hugs. Her welcome reflected the warmth and kindness of the staff and children to whom we were introduced.

“I was extremely impressed by the well kept campus. The school and homes also reflect cleanliness, orderliness and neatness.

“I must hasten to note that my greatest joy was seeing seemingly well-adjusted children of all ages, enjoying the care and love of their teachers, director and foster parents in a natural family setting.

“A handsome and very personable young man, a resident since he was four-years-old and now a college student, came to the director and spontaneously hugged her. Wow! I thought, this speaks volumes. What I witnessed truly demonstrated the warm relationship that they share.

“We were privileged to meet a young teacher, one who went through the system of Las Palmas and is now giving back, teaching with love and kindness.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

“Las Palmas demonstrates hands-on love of God for His children. I made the trip to deliver gifts but I received inspiration and blessings that cannot be measured by volume, time, money or distance.

“It is reassuring to realize that funds donated are being used as intended. My resolve to do all I can to help ICC projects deepened. This work is evangelism in its most powerful and effective form. Didn’t Jesus Himself declare that ministering to His precious children is pure and undefiled religion?

“Thank you ICC for your vision and sustained support of this awesome work, thank you for the privilege of being a part of your ministry.”

— Jean Parchment —

Only a Small Child

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Joel Reyes and the donor who gave so generously to International Children's Care

Joel Reyes, ICC’s public relations director, and the young man who is the subject of this story.

He was only a little boy, no more than 10 years old. Vivacious and fast moving as he came into the resource tent at the Alberta camp meeting. He didn’t take much time as he quickly scanned all the displays. It was as if he was looking for something very specific, and as soon as he realized it was not there, he would move on. “Perhaps he has lost something,” I thought to myself as I studied him.

He came by my display booth and checked it out with the same brevity as he had all the others. I smiled at him. He politely returned my smile and moved on. I observed him as he left the resource tent through the opposite door from which he had entered.

He ran through the open field, waving his arms and calling at a man farther ahead. The man stopped, turned around and began to walk in the direction of the child. I watched as the man approached the lad and put his arm around him. They spoke for a bit and began to walk back in the direction of the resource tent.

Both man and child were smiling as they came. With a sense of urgency, the child walked in front of the man, glancing back from time to time to make sure he was still there. They came all the way to where I was standing, and as they approached the man said to me, “My son has a little fund he has created by saving his allowance and other resources and he would like to give a donation to this ministry.” I looked at the child. He gave me an almost apologetic look as he proceeded to extract wrinkled bills from his pockets and place them on the table.

As I stood before this young man pulling wrinkled bills from his pockets I couldn’t help but be moved. He was only a small child! What motivated this boy to take such a step? What about a new toy? What about saving for one of the many electronic gadgets that seem to enthrall the hearts of the young? As I stretched and counted the money the young philanthropist had placed on the table, I began to realize it was not a small amount.

Before giving my young friend a receipt I asked him, “Are you sure this is what you want to do? This is a lot of money, and you could get a lot of things for yourself with it.” The father smiled confident of his son, “Oh yes that is what I want to do” the child replied.

I turned to the father and said, “I need you to know that I am extremely moved and impressed by the attitude of this young man, this is not normal. What have you done with this kid?”

“The other day we were talking about how blessed we are as a family,” he said, “and in the middle of the conversation my son said he wanted to give a gift to the needy out of his savings. As we left for camp meeting he put some money in his pockets, but I didn’t know how much it was until right now. He has given you all he has.”

I could not stop the tears from swamping my eyes as we prayed together that day. Sometimes my job can be very difficult. I feel a tremendous burden for the orphaned and abandoned children of the world, many of them the fruit of wars, natural disasters, abuse and moral decay. I have been in the streets with these outcasts of society. I have seen their tears and anguish as they endure pain, abuse, hunger, and dreadful loneliness.

I have also witnessed miracles in their lives when some caring soul dares to reach out to them and give them a hand. I am the director of public relations for this ministry and visit numerous churches and other Adventist gatherings throughout North America sharing the plea of the children, and I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when someone steps forward and says; “I will help.”

It can also be very discouraging at times when, after pouring out my heart before congregations and sharing what I have seen and what I know about the children on whose behalf I speak, I walk away with nothing but a pat on the back. I am a human being and I also get discouraged sometimes, but on this day the Lord chose to reveal Himself to me and send an angel in the form of a little boy with a shy smile.

Oh little friend, you have empowered me today. You have reassured my faith in the goodness of humanity. Oh how I wish I could replicate your spirit and disposition and pour it not only on every kid I see, but on all the adults I come across as well. Oh yes, most of them could use a bit of what you have in abundance! Oh if this world had more little angels like you, I wouldn’t have a job and that would make me very happy!

“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:3,4

Joel Reyes

Joel Reyes has been serving with International Children’s Care, an Adventist ministry, for the past 7 years. ICC builds country villages for orphaned and abandoned children. The rescued children are raised in a family environment and educated in the ways of the Lord.

Volunteers Making A Difference At ICC

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Laughter cascades down the stairwell at the ICC home office in Vancouver, Washington. Is there a staff party in full swing? Not at all. Today is mailing day and eleven enthusiastic volunteers have gathered in the upstairs conference room to stuff and prepare the monthly Qué Pasa newsletter. Even though there is light-hearted conversation, this task is critical to the ministry of ICC, and the volunteers seated around the tables take it seriously.

Dorothy Larson ICC volunteer

Dorothy Larson — ICC Volunteer. Dorothy coordiantes the volunteers who stuff the envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter. Dorothy has been a volunteer at ICC for thirty-three years. Volunteers are a vital component of the ICC ministry.

Dorothy Larson has been an ICC volunteer for almost as long as ICC has been in existence. She reckons that it was a couple of years after the start of ICC that she became involved with the mailings. That would be about 33 years ago. Dorothy coordinates the volunteer involvement in the mailings and ensures that everything is done correctly and efficiently. It usually takes from 8:00-10:30 on mailing mornings to stuff three to four items into each envelope. According to Dorothy, the volunteers prepare about 6,000 envelopes for each mailing. That includes the Spanish version of the Que Pasa which she processes herself.

Things are a bit different now. “When we first started,” Dorothy states; “we had to put the stamps on the envelopes and write the addresses.” Now, that process is automated. However, stuffing the envelopes is still done by hand and ICC is indebted to our faithful group of volunteers who willingly, and happily, do this task. When asked why she keeps coming back Dorothy replies with a big smile; “I love children.”

Volunteers stuff envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter

Volunteers stuff envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter

ICC children, staff, donors and volunteers comprise what we warmly refer to as the “ICC family.” Our mailing volunteers are part of the ICC family, and sometimes they involve their own family members. On this particular day, there are two married couples. One of the volunteers, Eileen, is the mother to Alanna Jones who is ICC’s sponsorship coordinator. Jean and Sandy are mother and daughter. Sandy says; “Mom and Dad used to come [to help with the mailings]. Dad used to invite me, and when he died, I used to bring mom because she couldn’t drive.”

The volunteers really seem to enjoy themselves and feel good about their contribution to the work of ICC. Bonnie B. has been volunteering for about six years. She states that “It’s a wonderful social time of Christian men and women. It’s fulfilling to now we’re helping orphans. It’s a blessing to be able to do that.”

Judy has been volunteering for about a year. When describing what’s going on she says; “It’s a Christian fellowship. It’s fun to get together and do something worthwhile.”

Eileen adds; “It’s very healthy because we laugh a lot.”

It’s not possible for all the volunteers to participate every month. According to those seated at the table more volunteers are needed. Bonnie says; “This room used to be so full that we ran out of places for people to sit. We’re always in need of more volunteers.”

We appreciate the work of our faithful volunteers. They truly make a difference in the lives of ICC children by helping us communicate with you, our extended ICC family. If you’d like to join this important group of volunteers on mailing mornings, please contact the ICC office (800-422-7729) for further details.

Baking Bread In Romania!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

After many years of construction and untold hours of labor from volunteers and local workers the ICC Romania Bakery is now baking bread! As part of the start-up team, ICC sent two volunteers to assist with marketing, accounting and general oversight.

A loaf of bread from the first batch of bread to ever be baked in the new bakery established at the ICC Romania Children's Village

A loaf of bread from the first batch of bread to ever be baked in the new bakery at the ICC Romania Children's Village.

One of those volunteers, Jerry Grecian, called on Wednesday, October 3 to say that the bakery was up and running! They baked 40 loaves of bread the first day. The kids helped to celebrate the start-up. The group who gathered sang songs, prayed and enjoyed the fresh baked bread. Jerry said he never saw bread disappear so quickly.

The baker from the Netherlands who has helped to open the new bakery at ICC's Romanian Children's Village

Theo, The Dutch Baker (on the right) and his colleague, Ben (on the left) with the first batch of bread from the new bakery at the ICC Romania Children's Village.

Other members of the start-up team include Theo, a Dutch baker, and his colleague, Ben. They had arrived Tuesday evening, October 2, and it was rewarding to see that they were already baking bread the next day! Praise the Lord!

Thank-you to all volunteers and donors who have contributed to this industry. We pray that it will be a financial blessing to our ICC family in Romania.

Kent Greve
International Development Director, ICC

Water Emergency

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Water. It’s often taken for granted when you turn on the faucet anticipating a clear stream of liquid to refresh, to cleanse, to invigorate. Nothing satisfies thirst like water, and when a problem in the supply system interrupts the flow of water to our ICC children it becomes an urgent problem that requires immediate attention. This is what happened at ICC’s Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala. The children’s homes and facilities draw water from two wells, and recently the children and staff were totally without the use of either of them.

The well behind the bakery has a broken pipe inside, and the workers can’t get the pump out. The problem was immediate, and our administrator had to solve it quickly. The pump motor on the other well burned out, and the shaft is broken.

For a very short time, water was shared from an emergency well at ICAP, the secondary school whose property is next to Los Pinos. However, this was only a temporary solution.

The cost of purchasing a new pump for the second well is $1,543. Our administrator, Joel Carpio, had no choice but to purchase the pump and quickly put it into service. Once again, water flowed through the system and our children and staff had the supply they needed.

Problem solved? In one sense, yes, and in some years, it may not have mattered too much if Joel had to use operating funds for this out-of-budget purchase. But this year it matters very much because the summer months have seen donation income decrease significantly at ICC. This has put a huge strain on all our projects as we’re not always able to send operating funds at the time they are needed. ICC project administrators like Joel are trying their best to keep the essential operations moving along, despite the hardships. When something like the broken wells occurs, it causes added strain to the budget. In this situation, Joel had to use money from his already depleted operational funds which are desperately needed to provide for the care of our children.

I’m writing today to make you aware of this situation. We need your prayers. We need our Heavenly Father’s blessing from the “windows of heaven” so that Joel is able to have sufficient operating funds to provide for the daily care of the children. If you feel the nudge to assist Joel please let us know. You can also send your donation marked “Guatemala Need.”

Thank-you for your continued interest and support of ICC’s children and projects around the world. It’s the ongoing, consistent support of our faithful supporters that makes this ministry for orphaned and abandoned children possible. Without you, we’d not be able to care for them. So, in a sense, it’s our supporters who put the “care” into International Children’s Care. May God richly bless you for your care and support of the children.

In His service,

Kent Greve
International Development Director

Teddy Bears Help ICC Kids Get To Sleep

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

We received this note from Ronny Van Dessel of ICC Belgium telling us of a rather unique donation for the children of ICC.

Recently, ICC Belgium was contacted by Mrs. Sabrina Polakoff, who wanted to donate to us 100 ‘Lulabie Teddy Bears’.

The Lulabie Bears are the first ever long-lasting, scented, sleep-well, aromatherapy teddy bears for babies and young children designed to aid in a good nights sleep.

Sabrina Polakoff and Ronny Van Dessel hold a Saffie teddy bear

Sabrina Polakoff and Ronny Van Dessel (left and right respectively) hold one of the “Saffie” bears from The Lulabie Bears collection. The teddy bears were donated by Mrs. Polakoff to ICC Belgium.

The Lulabie Bears come in four different colors. Each of the bears also has a name with an educational meaning. The beige bear is named ‘Rubie’ and stands for respect, the pink bear is named ‘Rhodie’ and stands for love & education, the blue bear is named ‘Saffie’ and stands for energy and the brown bear is named ‘Selie’ and stands for everything that has to do with nature.

We also received a very nice surprise when arrangements were made to pick up the bears in Antwerp. Because another organization wasn’t able to accept their donation of bears, ICC Belgium received not 100 bears, but 200 bears!

ICC Belgium is very happy that 200 ICC children, or possibly children who are living near our projects, can be made happy with these beautiful ‘Lulabie Teddy Bears’.

Ronny Van Dessel
ICC Belgium

ICC Loses A Treasured Friend And Colleague

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

[Sunday, August 26th, 2012]

Lambro Triantos 1968–2012

Lambro Triantos, 1968–2012. Lambro with some of the children from ICC's Patmos Children's Village.

ICC’s children and staff have suffered a painful loss as one of our highly loved and esteemed family members has passed to his rest. Lambro Triantos, director of ICC’s partner in the Netherlands as well as European Regional Director, died this morning after battling an aggressive and fast spreading cancer. Lambro was 44.

Vasili Triantos, Lambro’s brother, related that as the sun came up on Sabbath morning, Lambro’s family gathered around him and sang songs of hope—eternal hope. Lambro quietly went to sleep in Jesus.

Kent Greve, ICC’s International Development Director, shared that “I had the privilege of working alongside a true champion in our mission to provide care for orphan and abandoned children. This loss is far reaching in its scope and impact. Lambro was a talented and effective advocate for ICC children around the world. He was a devoted husband and father, and loved Jesus. We will miss Lambro and will cling to the blessed hope of seeing him again when Jesus comes.

Rick Fleck, ICC’s president, in sharing the news with ICC administrators and board members stated that “Although it is difficult and painful for us to lose a loved one, we rejoice in the faith that this death is only a temporary sleep, and Jesus will soon awaken Lambro to be gathered up with Him and with us if faithful together in the clouds of angels to be received into Jesus’ loving arms to live with Him forever. Let’s live and prepare for that day so we will all be there!”

Lambro is survived by his wife, Kalin, his two young children, his parents, Magda and Dimitri, and his brother, Vasili.

Funeral services will be held at the Open Hof Church at the Walraven van Hallstraat 2 in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands at 13:00 on Friday, August 31.

Let’s unite in prayer and thought with his family at this difficult time.

Sarahʼs Story

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The following is a personal account from Sarah Johnston. Her story was featured by Alcyon Fleck in the July 2012 edition of ICC’s Que Pasa Newsletter.

This is my story about how the Lord has been with me through the years. I was born in 1980 in a Mayan village in Guatemala. There was a civil war going on in Guatemala at that time. I was still a baby when a battle took place in my village in which many people were killed. I was on my mother’s back when a bullet took her life and wounded my feet.

This is all I know about the family I was born into, and the people of my village. In spite of the tragedy God was looking out for me, even though I did not know Him at that time. God sent a nice man who loved children to find me and a little boy. He took us to the military hospital in Guatemala City.

At the hospital they gave me the name “Mercedes Lopez.” The little boy and I did not stay at the hospital for long because the general that found us knew of a lady that loved children and had an orphanage in Guatemala called Los Pinos. The general called Mrs. Fleck and told her to come and see the two children he found. She did come to the military hospital to see us. I was about ten months old and stood in my crib when Mrs. Fleck saw me. The boy’s name was Lazaro, and he was even years old. He had a wound on his head and his hand.

In the limousine on the way to Mrs. Fleck’s home I sat on her lap and Lazaro sat close beside her. Not knowing where I was going I began to scream in terror and clung to Mrs. Fleck’s neck so hard that she could barely breathe. Mrs. Fleck was so nice to me and the boy. She rocked and held me until I went to sleep. In the morning Mrs. Fleck took us to the “Los Pinos” [children’s village] in Guatemala.

Sarah's First Days at Los Pinos

Sarah (in the yellow dress) not long after she came to live at Los Pinos

Juana, one of the ladies that worked at “Los Pinos,” took me to a house where the house mother could handle another little one. I do not know how long I was at “Los Pinos,’ but I do know that God was still looking out for me. Little did I know that God already had a good Christian family for me. This family lived in Vermont on a farm. They had two older children and a little baby boy, but the mother was praying that God would give her a little Indian girl. So when she found a little picture with a story of me in the Adventist Review it touched her heart, and she knew I would fit in the family if it was God’s will.

But it took nine months until they got me, even though they thought I would come at Christmas. It was a good thing I did not come at Christmas because Christine, the mother, had an operation in January and it took her a long time to heal after the operation. When she tried to do so she had a terrible headache which made it impossible for her to stay up or eat sitting erect. After much prayer the Lord urged her to exercise in the snow crawling around crying out for God’s help to be fit for her children and Sarah.

Sarah Lisa was the name they chose after they were told of Mercedes. In God’s time, exactly nine months later, the three year old came and “mommy” was well enough to receive her girl. Roger, the father, had almost traveled to Guatemala to pick me up since they were told to do so by the orphanage, but as it turned out he did not need to since Mrs. Fleck had another girl to bring and brought me up with her. Christine bought a pretty pink and white dress and shoes and mailed it away to Guatemala for me. And then they waited at the Boston airport until the plane I was on arrived. They found me with the pretty dress. I looked like a doll. Christine ran and picked me up. I looked surprised and they were surprised at how small I was.

Sarah After Joining Her New Family

Sarah after she was adopted into her new family

My new family was prepared for crying and a sleepless night as we all slept in a hotel. But I slept and their one and a half year old baby boy slept also. On the long trip home we stopped to get some food, and that is when they found out that I had the biggest appetite a tiny girl could have. I ate until all of the food was gone, and Christine wondered if maybe she gave me too much. Eating was something that I knew how to do. The next day my mom was shocked at how my little tummy got so big. Then she discovered that I had eaten five big pancakes. All night my mom worried that I may be sick, and yet I lived through it. I clung to my mother’s neck as she carried me up into the bedrooms, and I would not let go until she put me into my crib.

My mom was a good mother. She loved me and taught me about Jesus, but sad to say, I wasn’t always a nice little girl or have Jesus in my heart. I used to get so angry at my mom and brother, and I also stole. What made it worse was that I lied to my mom. It made her sad and Jesus, too, but thank God my mom did not give up on me. She did a lot of praying for me, and God answered her prayers. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was sixteen and was baptized.

I used to wonder why God spared my life and not my mom’s, but now I know why, because He wanted to use me to tell others of Him. I really do like children and they like me. My mom did some babysitting, and I helped her with the children. When I was twenty-eight, I helped take care of three foster children. I enjoyed it a lot. I sang Jesus songs with them and read stories to them. They enjoyed it, too. I become an aunt when I was seven and a half year old. I do not mind being an aunt, because I love my nieces and nephews. The only thing is that they all grew big and tall and I stayed short. But that’s OK.

I left home when I was twenty-nine and went to work up at Laurelbrook Academy. I worked at the nursing home doing different things. I also worked in the garden with some of the students. I also worked at the day care. I enjoyed doing that. I also helped out in Sabbath School with the little children.

Sarah Today

Sarah as she is today

Now I am thirty-one and married, and I know God will still use me as long as I am willing to be used. It does not make any difference how big or small or how old you are or what your background is or was. He can and wants to use you to help others to be ready when Jesus comes. May my story be an encouragement that God does work things out in our lives for His good. One of my favorite Bible verses is “All things work out together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

May God bless you,
Sarah Johnston

ICC Story To Be Told On The Hope Channel

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Amazing things can result from what seem at the time to be simple occurrences. In the summer of 2011, Doug Congleton, ICC’s executive director, was asked to give an impromptu presentation to a small group of people interested in learning about International Children’s Care.

One of those at the presentation somehow had some connection with Pastor Don Schneider, former president of the North American Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and currently host of the “Really Living” television show broadcast on the Hope Channel. This person contacted Pastor Schneider and strongly suggested that he interview Doug about ICC for “Really Living.”

Pastor Don Schneider of the "Really Living" TV show broadcast on the Hope Channel

Pastor Don Schneider

During the next week Pastor Schneider contacted Doug at ICC’s home office in Vancouver, WA, and after just a few minutes of conversation, was convinced that he should dedicate a full hour of his show to interviewing Doug and learning the story of ICC. Arrangements were then made to bring Doug and Daniel Ixcot, ICC’s marketing director for ICC Mexico, to the studios of Adventist Media Productions in Simi Valley, CA, to film the interview for broadcast.

The set of really living at Adventist Media Productions in Simi Valley, CA.

The "Really Living" set at Adventist Media Productions

Pastor Schneider was deeply moved as both Doug and Daniel first told their stories of how they were each called to ICC’s ministry, and then as they each went on to relate their own personal “favorite experiences” from ICC’s amazing ministry.

We know you’ll want to see this special and touching episode of “Really Living” with Doug and Daniel so please make a note of these dates and times. This episode is due to premiere on Friday, March 9, 2012, at 7 PM Eastern on the Hope Channel. It will air again that same day at 10 PM Eastern. Subsequent airings will be on Saturday, March 10, at 5 PM and Monday, March 12 at 7 AM. Don’t miss it!